The Big Picture
When you are thinking and writing about texts, it's important to keep a very clear sense of:
- The writer's purpose, in other words, what the writer has to say and why he might have decided to share that with readers.
- The choices the writer makes about which writing techniques will best help him to say what he has to say.
- The ways in which those techniques help him to say what he has to say.
- The fact that spotting those techniques is of no value unless you can show how they were used by the writer to say what he has to say!
In thinking and writing about "Ghost City", as a piece of non-fiction text, you need to be very aware of these important principles. When you are engaging with the text on this site, keep the Big Picture at the front of your mind.
What the writer may be saying
- He wants to share some memories of his early life with us.
Think about why he might have wanted to do that.
- He wants to say something about the kind of environment in which he grew up.
Think about the impact on him of his privileged upbringing, his education and his religious experiences.
- He wants to focus on how Glasgow, as a city, influenced how he began to think about the world.
Think about the contrasts he draws between that Glasgow and today's city, and how he feels about those "two" cities.
- He wants to say some things about memories, how they are influenced by various aspects of our past and how this helps to produce a blend of fact and truth and fiction.
Think about how he feeds the reader with a subtle blend of these ways of interpreting the past.
- He wants to present some perceptions of what it means to be Scottish.
Think about those aspects of the Scottish identity on which he chooses to focus, and how this focus helps to make clearer what he feels about himself.
- He wants us to think about the impact of all of these things on his writing, his beliefs and his values.
Think about what that impact is and how it may affect our reaction to this piece.
You may find it useful to print this page, so that you have a constant reminder of the Big Picture while you're working through how Frame conveys his experience to us.